Will Addiction Rehab Centers Admit Me if I Fail a Drug Test?

One of the concerns that many people who are trying to overcome and addiction to drugs or alcohol have is whether they will be admitted into a program if they fail a drug test. If you share this concern, this article may be of some interest to you. Generally speaking, most rehab facilities will presume that you are using and ready to seek help. And therefore, most facilities will wait until an individual has officially started a treatment program before they start drug testing. So, in short, yes, drug testing does happen, but a negative test result won’t prevent you from getting into most rehab facilities where you can get the help you need to put substance abuse behind you once and for all.


There are two things that you should know when it comes to drug testing while in rehab; first, drug testing is random, meaning you are subject to being tested at any time as long as you are in an addiction recovery program. Second, drug testing is generally done when an individual is seeking outpatient treatments to overcome an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

For those who are not familiar with an outpatient treatment program, it is one that is slightly less intensive than an inpatient program but offers many of the same benefits in terms of addiction recovery. Outpatient treatments are aimed at those struggling with a mild addiction but still need the flexibility of being able to fulfill career or family obligations while working toward turning their lives around. An integral part of remaining in these programs, however, is being able to pass the required drug tests.


Those who choose an outpatient program to overcome addiction are required to attend multiple weekly treatment sessions at a rehab facility. They can also take place in a community mental health clinic, hospital, or even a counselor’s office. It is also important to note that there are two different types of outpatient programs that are available, intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization. During your initial consultation with a prospective rehab facility, an addiction specialist will advise you on which of the two programs will work best for you. Along with greater flexibility than inpatient programs, outpatient programs will provide individuals with the following:

  • Addiction education courses
  • Relapse prevention training
  • Addiction counseling
  • Access to support groups

Also, while in an outpatient program, individuals will learn invaluable skills that will enable them to function better in society and further improve their chances of achieving long-term sobriety. Some of the skills include the following:

  • Employment skill
  • Anger and stress management
  • Time management
  • How to manage their finances
  • How to become goal-oriented
  • Improved social skills

It is worth noting that some of these services, although proven effective, may not be available at all rehab facilities. As such, those who believe that they can benefit from them are encouraged to reach out to prospective facilities to verify what services they offer.


The consequences of failing a drug test while receiving addiction recovery treatments in an outpatient program can vary from facility to facility. There are also additional consequences for those who may be in a court-ordered outpatient treatment program. With that, let’s take a closer look at what can potentially happen in either of these two scenarios:

Voluntary outpatient treatments – For those who are admitted into an outpatient program on their own volition and fail a drug test, they may be asked to leave the facility as many have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to such matters. The rationale behind this move, according to most rehab facilities, is that if an individual tests positive for drug or alcohol use, it can jeopardize the sobriety of other individuals in the program. Of course, if this happens, they are usually allowed to return to these programs; however, their addiction recovery treatments will have to start all over again, no matter how far they may have gotten in the program before being asked to leave.

Court-ordered outpatient treatments – Those who are ordered by a court to attend outpatient treatments can potentially have their probation revoked if they fail a drug test. Along with being asked to leave the outpatient program, the consequence may also include having their probation extended, having to pay additional or, in some cases, jail time. And if they do return to rehab, they will have to start addiction recovery treatments all over again, much like those who were asked to leave after testing positive for drug or alcohol use while in a voluntary outpatient treatment program.

To learn more about drug testing while in an outpatient program or to find a facility in your area, consider speaking with one of our associates today at 800-411-8019.